Help - Trouble Using CD-RW to Transfer from PC to Mac

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Mar 27, 2005, 9:06:25 PM3/27/05

I am a fairly naive user and am having some problems transferring data
from my office PC to my Mac G5.

OBJECTIVE: I have extensive large files (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc)
on my office PC. It would not be viable to sent these files via the
net. So I want to place them on a CD-RW disc and manually transport
them to my Mac.

INITIAL ACTIONS: 1) When I put the CD-RW disc in my PC it initially
would not write on it. I was told that the disc needed to be formated.
I ran a formatting program (it took about 30 minutes to run). I could
then load load the data onto the disc. (Comment: I am using Window
2000 at the office). 2) I then took the disc home and tried to use it
on my Mac.

EXPERIENCE ON MAC: My experieneces with the disc on the Mac have been
very frustrating. I have cycled through three different CD-RW discs
taking the INITIAL ACTIONS above and always running into trouble. Not
necessarily in squence, here are some of the problems that I have
expereienced: 1) Some of folders from the PC are missing, 2) Some of
the folders from the PC are present, but are empty, and 3) Something
weird happens and my Mac asks me to restart. When I restart it asks me
to restart again, etc, etc. I can only escape this nested trap by
holding my mouse down when restarting the computer - the disc then
comes out of the Mac.

Note that all these problems occur ONLY on the Mac. When I take any of
the discs and put them back on the PC there are no problems. All of
the data that I wanted to transfer is still there.

ANY HELP: Any advice in helping me out of these problems would be most

Tim Harbison

Mar 27, 2005, 10:27:29 PM3/27/05

It sounds like you have packet writing software on the PC designed to
let you "drag and drop" files to the CD. Packet writing software
generally produces a disk that is (for all intents and purposes)
proprietary to the software that wrote it. It will often place a loader
on the disc that will allow another PC to read the disc, but this is
usually Intel specific.

You probably also have a "normal" CD burning package installed as well
(e.g. Easy CD Creator). Use that to master the disc instead in a
standard format and you should be able to read it fine on a Mac.
Similarly, if you have Windows XP and just use the built in Windows
burning software, the disc should be readable.

This is caused by the non-standard format produced by the software on
the PC. As a rule, if you have to format the disc, it won't be readable
in a Mac, or on Linux or even in other PC's sometimes.

Alan Zisman

Mar 28, 2005, 12:43:39 AM3/28/05
In article <>,
"PLB" <> wrote:

I suspect you are using one of the several PC programs that allow you to
use your CD-RW drive 'like a floppy disk'-- i.e. copying files to it
using Windows Explorer or My Computer.

If so, when you remove your CD disc, you should get a number of
options... if available, pick the option to 'Close' the disc-- or it
might be phrased as an option to make it readable on other computers...
without choosing this option (however it's phrased), you will be able to
read the disc on your PC, but not on other systems-- PC or Mac.

If this doesn't make sense to you, maybe report back, giving details on
the name of the software (and version number) that you are using to
create CDs on your Windows 2000 system.

Other things to try:

1) Try a CD-R disc rather than a CD-RW disc; while CD-RWs might seem
more economical because you can reuse them, CD-R discs are so cheap--
and more reliable-- that it may be worth giving them a try.

2) Alternatively, if the Mac and PC are close together, consider
networking them-- this would allow you to copy the files directly. If
the PC is at the office and the Mac at home, this won't be an option, of
course (unless you can pack up the Mac and take it to work).

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Peter Van Hove

Mar 28, 2005, 8:30:05 AM3/28/05
>> Packet writing software generally produces a disk that is (for all
>> intents and purposes) proprietary to the software that wrote it.

Actually, I disagree, most if not all of the current packet writing software
produces discs that are conform the UDF standard and they should be
interchangeable without issues.
Of course the "receiving" system must support UDF properly (and more
specifically up to that rev. or higher of the UDF standard)
It sounds like you created a disc with UDF 1.5 (although it could also be a
higher versions, e.g. 2.01 or even 2.5)

So I wonder, not knowing that much of Mac and the various OS versions, Which
Mac OS can handle which versions of UDF and is Mac generally "good" in
interpreting UDF or are the drivers "buggy" (causing the described
behaviour) ?
As Mac natively and normally uses HFS and HFS+.

This is of course just my comment on this particular phrase, I agree fully
with the proposed solution.

Best Regards,
Peter Van Hove
CD and DVD Data recovery

Andy Fraser

Mar 28, 2005, 9:06:02 AM3/28/05
In article <PTS1e.570$>,
Warren Oates <Warren...@Gmail.Com> wrote:

> :ANY HELP: Any advice in helping me out of these problems would be most
> :appreciated.
> :
> The advice I usually give is: don't use CD-RWs. Use a CD-R and throw it
> away when you're finished.

I have to disagree. I've been using CD-RWs for years and never had a
problem except through overuse due to the limited number of writes they
can take. I find them perfect for when I want to make some data
temporarily portable. Using a CD-R then throwing it away seems too
wasteful to me. The same goes for using DVD-RWs and DVD+RWs versus
DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs. I don't use UDF packet writing though, I've had too
many problems with it, and always stick to brands I know work even if
they cost more.

Given the amount of use I get from my CD/DVD re-writtables and how much
they've cost me I've saved quite a bit of money by using re-writtable
media over using recordable media and throwing it away.



Mar 28, 2005, 10:39:39 AM3/28/05

> I am a fairly naive user and am having some problems transferring data
> from my office PC to my Mac G5.

Yes, this is quite common.

PC software that creates CDs often, by default, creates a CD in a
non-standard format. Quite often, these CDs can not even be read in a
different PC, or can not be read in a PC without the use of special
driver software which is written into the first session of a CD.

The fact that you "formatted" the CD suggests you are using software
that writes non-standard CDs. Software does this because a CD needs to
be written all at once, yet inexperienced users want to treat a CD like
it was a giant floppy disk--they want to see an icon for the CD, they
want to copy files to it by dragging files to the CD icon, and so forth.
A lot of stuff has to go on behind the scenes to make that happen.

Your CD recorder should also have come with CD writing software such as
Nero. To write a standard CD that any computer can use, do not "format'
the CD and do not drag files onto it. Instead:

1. Run your software, probably Nero but possibly something else--check
the manual that came with your CD recorder.
2. Tell your software oyu want to make a new CD. If you have theoption,
tell your software to make an "ISO9660" or "Joliet" CD.
3. Drag the files into the CD recording software's window; you will not
see an icon for the CD in My Computer.
4. Tell the software to record the CD.

You will now have a standard CD that any computer can read.

Art, photography, shareware, polyamory, literature, kink:
all at

Marv Frandsen

Mar 28, 2005, 9:47:33 PM3/28/05
Skip the CDs. "Email" (actually FTP) your files to yourself via

A rare site - simple, effective and free.

-- Marv Frandsen


Apr 2, 2005, 8:33:11 PM4/2/05

I find CDRWs to be very frustrating to work with both on Macs and PCs,
the re-write feature is only good for a small number of burns.

My advice is to get one of those little USB 'click' drives - 256mb or
512. This is the easiest way to exchange data. Most of my friends and I
usually have one attached to our keys all the time. Also the CD drive in
my PC laptop went sour last year and I often pull new software off a
disk with an iMac and load it via the click drive.

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